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Baking Your Own Bread

Submitted by: Nighat Rasul

On the surface, making bread seems simple, especially when you use premium bakeware. All you need is yeast flour, water and salt.

But, to some people, bread making is intimidating, even for more experienced home cooks.

They won t think twice about making some other complicated recipe but doubt will cross their face when faced with their four little ingredients.

The reason for this is because bread baking is less about the ingredients used and more about the technique.

You have to practice to truly understand how to do it and that means lots of trial and error.

Choose quality non-stick bakeware to make sure your bread does not stick to your pan.

Ingredients

Flour gives your bread structure. In the presence of water, the flour becomes stretchy, allowing the bread to rise and set.

Water is also important. Without it, you just have a pile of flour salt and yeast. Water also hydrates the yeast.

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Salt will give your bread flavour while inhibiting yeast growth. With salt, it is important to get the correct ratio. Too much salt, will mean your yeast won t rise properly and too little will mean it rises too much.

Yeast single celled organism that eat sugar, give off gases and reproduce. There are a few kinds of yeast to choose from. Although seasoned bakers swear by fresh yeast, there are more practical alternatives for the home baker.

Instant yeast is dried and rises rapidly, and, although faster to make, is less flavoursome.

Active dry yeast is probably your best bet. It stays dormant until you add water.

Equipment needed

You can either mix the dough right on the counter or use a large heavy bowl as your main baking equipment.

There are lots of different sized baking supplies available from George Wilkinson ideal for bread making. It might also be useful to invest in a sturdy stand mixer.

Making your bread

The steps to making bread seem daunting, but it is not as difficult as it first appears.

Measure your ingredients and mix them together, in which the kneading will occur. Give your yeast a chance to ferment and gently press out the gasses.

Give the dough a chance to cool off a little, put your dough in your George Wilkinson bakeware, bake, cool and store.

Mixing the dough

The most difficult part of all of this is the mixing. This is because flour will accept more or less water depending on the air temperature and the temperature of your flour.

A good rule of thumb is to add a bit of dough at a time, stopping when it starts sticking to the sides.

When making dough by hand, knead in the few ounces until it is no longer sticky. This will take practice.

The trick with kneading is to work the dough as a continuous mass. Push the dough away with the heel of your hands, fold it over, give it a quarter turn and repeat. The dough is ready when smooth and springy.

Choose good quality non-stick bakeware before putting your dough into the oven.

An example of a basic bread recipe:

3/4 oz active dried yeast

Spoonful of sugar, to kick-start the yeast

2 cups warm water (about 45 degrees C)

2 pounds bread flou

1 TBSP salt

Little extra flour for dusting

About the Author: For more information on bakeware, baking supplies and baking equipment, visit

george-wilkinson.com

.

Source:

isnare.com

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